PS4 NPL Review Men's Round 9 / Women's Round 7
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PS4 NPL Victoria
By Lou Verga
Pascoe Vale 1 (van’t Schip 53’) Bentleigh Greens 4 (Ruthven 20’, Webster 36’, Wallace 50’, Lucas 82’)
Pascoe Vale are still without a win since Round 2 after falling to Bentleigh at CB Smith Reserve on Friday night. The away side spurned an early chance to take the lead when Matt Thurtell saw his penalty rebound off the upright, but didn’t have to wait long as a 30-yard Troy Ruthven free kick arrowed into the bottom corner.
Further set piece goals from Jack Webster and Wayne Wallace early in the second half seemed to have put the match to bed before Davey van’t Schip’s well taken first touch and finish sparked a revival of sorts for Vitale Ferrante’s side. However as they pushed for a second, Paco were eventually caught out at the back again with Chris Lucas sealing all three points for Bentleigh.
Northcote City 1 (Bounas 44’) Bulleen Lions 1 (Barresi 26’)
Goran Lozanovski’s first match back as Head Coach sparked a positive change in City who started with plenty of possession. Bulleen were missing Takanori Nishimoto and Sami Nour but debutant Joshua Barresi filled their boots with a superb finish with the outside of his left foot to put Dom Barba’s side ahead against the run of play.
Northcote rallied as Aaron Ward struck the crossbar before a stunning Jonathan Bounas free kick levelled things up just before half time. The best chance of the second half fell to Roddy Covarrubias who had his shot saved by Phil Petrovski as two yellow cards to skipper Greg Lombardo saw him dismissed and Northcote hold on for a point.
Melbourne Knights 1 (Glavan 78’) Oakleigh Cannons 3 (Bosnjak 11’, Piemonte 24’, Hatzimouratis 50’)
While a win for either side would move them into the top six, Knights and Oakleigh also had an FFA Cup tie against each other in the coming days to keep in mind. The Cannons stunned the hosts with two early goals and were cruising at 3-0 five minutes into the second half, with Nick Glavan’s goal not enough to prevent a first loss at Somers St this season for Andrew Marth's side.
Port Melbourne Sharks 1 (Honos 18’) Avondale FC 2 (Khrapko 7’, Sanders 45’)
Avondale continued its surge up the table with an impressive third consecutive league win. Oleksiy Khrapko, coming off a hat-trick in the FFA Cup, put the visitors ahead before Lambros Honos struck back quickly for Port with his second in two games. However Mat Sanders was at hand late in the first half to tuck home a free kick which would prove to be the winner.
By Jordan Kounelis
Green Gully 1 (Christodoulou 32’) Hume City 0
Evan Christodoulou’s third goal in a fortnight was all Green Gully needed to take three points against Hume City on Saturday afternoon as they hold onto fourth spot on the ladder. Roddy Vargas was out of Gully’s squad for this encounter, but coach Arthur Papas was able to welcome back striker Liam Boland.
Green Gully have now won four of their last five encounters and are beginning to pose a threat to the rest of the competition, conceding only one goal in their last seven outings.
Hume City slumped to their fourth loss of the year and drop into seventh position.
Heidelberg United 4 (Athiu 17’, Way 22’, Sheppard 65’, Noon 74’) Richmond 1 (Niagioran 39’)
This is fourth week in a row Heidelberg have scored four or more goals in a game, and the fifth in which they’ve scored three or more. It was the usual suspects who got on the scoresheet for the Bergers, with Kenny Athiu firing home his seventh strike of the season to take outright first position in the goal scoring tallies, but concern over his fitness will be the talking point throughout the week as the striker made his way from the field with an injury after scoring in the 17th minute.
Reuben Way doubled Heidelberg’s lead five minutes later, but Richmond found form late in the first half as they begun mounting challenges on the league heavyweights and received just rewards when Nicolas Niagioran half-volleyed his way onto the scoresheet at the end of the first half.
English pair Kaine Sheppard and Harry Noon, as they did last week, scored in the second half to secure the points for Heidelberg and stay a win away from South Melbourne on the table.
South Melbourne 1 (Lujic 60’) Melbourne Victory NPL 0
South Melbourne were unexpectedly given a stiff run for their money when they faced a ready Melbourne Victory team at the Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening, but ultimately prevailed to continue their reign as league leaders in 2016 with a 1-0 win.
A cross-goal header from striker Milos Lujic provided the separator for the two sides on the hour mark, but the goal came as a moment of both joy and relief for South Melbourne after spurning a number of golden chances in the first half.
Matt Millar alone had three opportunities at goal all go to waste; twice the winger was played in down the right flank and into open space,yet on both occasions he either pulled the shot wide or simply let the chance pass him by, opting for a pass.
The 19-year-old also saw a shot crash off the crossbar, while Lujic and Marcus Schroen both had headers bounce inches wide of the upright – fans thinking they’d scored on each occasions.
PS4 NPL Victoria Women's
By Marc Sudholz
FC Bulleen Lions 6 (Friend 19' 65' Boudreau 33' 45+1' Goad 35' Privitelli 66') Box Hill United 1 (Camilleri 26')
The Bulleen Lions are back on the winners' list for the first time in three weeks following a comprehensive 6-1 demolition of local rivals Box Hill United at the Veneto Club on Monday Night.
Goals from Taryne Boudreau, Caitlin Friend, Lia Privitelli, and Beattie Goad ensured the hosts took home the three points on a clear, chilly night.
The lions started the stronger side, and took the lead from the penalty spot in the 19th minute through Caitlin Friend, after Beattie Goad had been fouled following a neat turn in the box.
However, the lead lasted all of seven minutes, as Box Hill responded through a spot kick of their own, after a foul on Kristina Hall. Melanie Camilleri calmly slotted home to make it 1-1.
After this point however, it was all Bulleen, and they soon made their dominance show on the scoresheet.
Jamie Pollock, Friend and Boudreau combined well on 33 minutes, before Friend played Boudreau through, with the American sending Emily Shields the wrong way to make it 2-1.
Goad then got on the scoresheet three minutes later, storming down the left wing before firing a cross-shot in at the near post, catching Shields out to double the lead.
In the shadows of half time, the score became 4-1, as Iaconis picked Goad out with a stunning ball, before the winger cut the ball back to Boudreau, who fired into the roof of the net for her second.
The second half was a fiery one, with the referee speaking to players from both sides on a number of occasions, but Bulleen remained on top.
Box hill had a good chance through substitute Jasmina Pedic, in the 53rd minute, but her shot from range was wide of the left post.
Friend made it 5-1 in the 65th minute following a foul on Privitelli, again sending Shields the wrong way from the spot.
Privitelli then got a goal for herself two minutes later, played in superbly by Tessa Sernio, before calmly slotting past the Box Hill keeper.
Southern United 0 Calder United 6 (Binning 44' Alonso 55' 75' 88' Papadopoulos 69' Au 81')
Calder United had to wait until the 44th minute to break through at Lawton Park but the goals flowed regularly after Rachel Binning's header in the 44th minute.
Southern goalkeeper Freya Crocker was under seige in the second half as Rachel Alonso netted a hat-trick while goals to Stacey Papadopoulos and Jessica Au rounded out the convincing win.
Bayside United 1 (Conrad 10') Heidelberg United (Cartwright 27' Gray 29' 53' 72')
Bayside United made a perfect start when Emma Robers played through Courtney Conrad for the opening goal, but it was one-way traffic thereafter as Heidelberg United powered to victory.
After some inspired goalkeeping from Erin Hudson to preserve the 1-0 advantage, Joey Cartwright netted Heidelberg United's equaliser with a left-foot drive.
Leigh Gray then cut in from the right to give Heidelberg the lead.
Gray added a third from close range early in the second half and then rounded out her hat-trick with a curling left-foot shot with just under 20 minutes remaining.
Hudson was the difference between four and more with a number of vital saves as Heidelberg dominated the second half.
Alamein 2 (Runnalls 68' Ayres 87') Geelong Galaxy United 1 (Spiranovic 23')
A spirited comeback from Alamein grabbed a 2-1 win at HA Smith Reserve as Geelong Galaxy faltered under late pressure.
Laura Spiranovic put Geelong into the lead, an advantage it held with the odd half chance to add to the tally at half time.
Emma Runnalls was determined to bring Alamein back into the match with a number of runs and attempts from distance, eventually latching on to a Megan Fish free kick to head in the equaliser.
The Geelong defence then failed to deal with a long throw, the ball falling to Melina Ayres who lashed in the winner from close range.
PS4 NPL 2 East
By Damir Kulas
Kingston City 1 (Karpeh pen 57') Dandenong Thunder 2 (Barnes 69' Osmancevic 84')
Dandenong Thunder’s electric start to the season continued last night following a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over previous table-toppers Kingston City at the Grange Reserve.
Jerry Karpeh gave the home side the lead from the spot in the 58th minute before a fantastic individual effort from Brandon Barnes levelled proceedings until substitute Amir Osmancevic converted the winner six minutes from time.
The two sides went into the contest sitting pretty at the top of the NPL2 East standings and subsequently adopted a cautious approach in a cagey first half.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between as both sides resorted to shots from distance with the Thunder going closest through the left boot of Kristian Sarkies.
The game as a contest sprang into action in the opening minutes of the second half as City shot-stopper Julien Chaumet produced an excellent diving save to deny Barnes’s curling shot.
Former Socceroo Simon Colosimo then almost gave Thunder the lead from the set-piece but his effort went wide off the goalpost as Huss Skenderovic’s men went in search of the opener. However a twist in the tale was to come when former Kingston defender Nick Modafferi fouled ex-teammate Stelios Konstantinidis on the edge of the box as the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Karpeh stepped up and duly converted to give his side a hard-fought lead against the run of play as the encounter came into the life after a pretty uneventful first half.
The visitors levelled proceedings eleven minutes later when the brilliant Barnes produced another goal-of-the-season contender by turning his opponents before firing into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the campaign.
The hosts went in search of an immediate reply and almost found it when some industrious work from youngster Damian Iaconis presented Karpeh with an opportunity for a second only for Colosimo to clear the goal-bound effort off the line.
Slaven Vranesevic then should have given Kingston the lead but could only strike his shot from the edge of the area within reach of former City custodian Fraser Maclaren who made the save.
The game’s next telling moment saw Huss Skenderovic go to his bench and bring on the fit-again Amir Osmancevic who entered the game in place of Veton Korcari.
The 20 year-old forward was presented with the chance to give his side the lead as a through-ball was diverted into his path by a Kingston defender’s out-stretched touch to duly score past Chaumet.
A Kingston equaliser almost eventuated only for Afghan international Faisal Sakhizada to intervene and heroically block another goal-bound shot from Karpeh.
Osmancevic’s goal proved to be the winner and sparked jubilant scenes in the away section of the stadium as the Thunder’s faultless - points deduction aside – start to the season against a spirited Kingston who were no doubt missing the services of injured duo Simo Jovanovic and Velibor Mitrovic.
Springvale White Eagles made it two wins from two under new head coach Nik Kovacevic by defeating rivals Dandenong City 1-0 at White Eagles Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game’s telling moment had to wait until the 79th minute as Isiah Joseph headed home from close range.
The 18 year-old substitute was on hand to react quickest after Damir Stoilovic’s header was parried into the path of the oncoming White Eagles attackers by City goalkeeper Damir Salcin.
Stoilovic had a chance to make it two inside stoppage time when he raced onto a clearance from the defence and despite having the whole goal at his mercy after Salcin as raced back to get into goals, was eventually got by a City defender who cleared away making the youngster rue not shooting at goal earlier.
However that missed chance would was quickly forgotten at the final whistle as the home side celebrated their first win over their close rivals since 2013 and are now undefeated in four having picked up eight points in that period.
Nunawading City 0 Box Hill United 5 (Schroen 4' 73' 76' Gerace 7' Johns 11')
Box Hill United made it two thrashings in two weeks as they dismantled an out of sorts Nunawading City side 5-0 at Mahoneys Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
The game was over as a contest after ten minutes with the visitors pouncing on mistakes from the City defence by finding the back of the net three times thanks to goals from Alex Schroen, Michael Gerace and Lucas Johns.
From there onwards, Nunawading began to settle into the game and managed to contain the rampant United attack for the rest of the half.
The make-shift right-forward Schroen was on the end of a second-hand double in quick succession to complete his hat-trick before City striker Emile Damey had the opportunity to grab a consolation goal for the spot.
However it was not to be as Damey was thwarted by former teammate Keegan Coulter who guessed right to save the penalty in what was a convincing display from Greg Kassidas’ side.
The Eastern Lions have continued their impressive form of late with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Murray United at Gardiners Greek Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
A cagey opening half saw both teams struggle to create many meaningful opportunities before the game sprung to life shortly after the restart.
Striker Geoffrey Lino pounced upon a defensive mistake from the Lions to score the opener in the 47th minute.
The hosts equalised mid-way through the half when midfielder-turned-striker Cameron Neales scored his fifth goal of the season.
Murray appeared to be heading back to the border with a point until right-winger Sam Burfoot pin-point accurate cross into the box was met by the head of Neales who snared all three points for Jim Williams’ men who are now undefeated in four league games to sit forth on the NPL2 East competition standings.
Brunswick City 1 (Vithoulkas 47') Goulburn Valley Suns 0
Dimi Vithoulkas' free kick was enough for Brunswick City to maintain their challenge to the top two in the East.
Dean Romas' red card with just under 20 minutes remaining would not cost Brunswick, who held on to win 1-0. Jordan Montagner also saw red, sent off for the Suns in stoppage time.
PS4 NPL 2 West
Whittlesea Ranges broke clear at the top of the league with a convincing win in the battle of first and second at Epping Stadium.
Nejc Kolman's early goal gave the Zebras reward for their early aggression, before a counter attack and defensive slip left James Papadimitriou to tee up Baggio Yousif for an easy tap-in and 2-0.
Whittlesea Ranges continued to attack in the second half but struggled to find ways through Zebras centre back pairing Mile Medjedovic and Milos Tosic.
Yousif then put matters to bed with another counter-attack goal in the 73rd minute before scoring in similar style 10 minutes later to complete his hat-trick.
Bendigo City FC 1 (Basha 51') Ballarat Red Devils 5 (Swinton 25' 88' Murphy 70' 79' 90')
Ballarat Red Devils needed until the 70th minute to shake the challenge of Bendigo City but did so emphatically once taking a 2-1 lead.
Godwill Basha had given Bendigo hope of taking something from the "Goldfields Derby" but Simon Murphy's two goals in 10 minutes put Ballarat firmly in control.
Murphy completed his hat-trick and Dom Swinton netted another as Ballarat boosted their goal difference late.
Melborne City FC 3 (Ahmed 12' 40' Petreski 20') Werribee City 3 (Voulgaris 16' Marafioti 55' Mosibe Esara 60')
Werribee's fortunes took a turn for the better under new boss Sergio Sabbadini after coming from 3-1 down to earn a point against Melbourne City at La Trobe University.
Yusuf Ahmed's double and a goal for Phil Petreski had City seemingly on course to break through for their first win in five games before a inspired five minutes put Werribee back on level terms.
Domenico Marafioti and Deflin Mosibe Esara netted Werribee's comeback goals after Jonathan Voulgaris had struck in the first half.
Moreland City FC 0 North Geelong Warriors 2 (Thorne 25' Eze 59')
North Geelong claimed second place at Whittlesea Ranges' expense by taking care of business away at Moreland City.
Matt Thorne's first-half strike put the Warriors in control before Kene Eze added a second just before the hour mark.
Sunshine George Cross 0 St Albans Saints 1 (Monek 22')
St Albans stayed within touch of the promotion race as Joe Monek's first half goal proved the difference at Chaplin Reserve.
The win lifts St Albans to 17 points, four off the top of the league but only one behind second-placed North Geelong Warriors.